3 Important Tips For Teaching Children First Aid

Most parents understand that the need to learn first aid so they can take care of their children in the event of injury. But most parents aren’t aware that they should also teach their children some basic first aid skills.

Teaching your child first aid solves a few helpful problems. First, your child is more likely to go along with first aid treatments without fuss when they know what’s being done to them and why. Second, your child will be able to treat themselves effectively if they get injured on their own. Finally, your child will also be able to help other children with their injuries.

Here are a few important items to keep in mind when teaching your child first aid.

1. Make it a Game

While you need to stress the importance of learning first aid to your child, it’s usually a good idea to make the process as fun as possible. Most parents know that children are more likely to pay attention and engage deeply with a subject when that subject is fun for them, and first aid is no exception.

Instead of making flash cards and endlessly drilling your child about first aid procedures and facts, make it a fun role-playing experience. Role-play likely scenarios where your child is going to need to know how to treat an injury or illness, taking turns regarding who will be playing the injured person and who will be administering the treatment. If you have multiple children, include all of them in the process as they are likely to learn faster together than separately. Many parents also find it effective to give out rewards to their children when they are able to practice the necessary skills for each scenario, and if multiple children are involved making it lightly competitive often increases participation and retention.

2. Teach Prevention First

It’s important that you teach your child how to prevent injuries before you teach them how to perform any kind of first aid. While all children are likely to suffer from some collection of injuries when they’re growing up, teaching your child how to avoid injuries can reduce the number of instances where they will actually need their first aid knowledge.

While childproofing your home is your responsibility, you can and should still explain to them why you are making the changes in your home you’re implementing. Letting a child know what behaviors, items and environments are likely to hurt them (and how to avoid those factors) is often the most important first aid advice you can provide for your kids.

3. Move on to Simple Procedures, then Complex

There’s no reason to start your child out with anything too heavy and potentially scary to start with. When they are just beginning to learn first aid you should just have them learn something like how to treat a scrape or a cut. From there you can move on to teaching them how to deal with more serious cuts and injuries that cause significant amounts of bleeding.

After they have mastered those basics you should show them how to deal with burns, and then how to deal with fires (such as the well-known stop, drop and roll procedure). Choking is another procedure that you’ll need to teach them, though the Heimlich maneuver and  CPR will be too complicated to teach very young children, or children who have just begun to learn first aid.

Finally, you should teach your child how to deal with very serious health problems and relatively complex first aid procedures. These include how to treat broken bones, and what to do if they see another child drowning.
By implementing these tips, you can ensure that your child has the knowledge and skills necessary to deal with most injuries that will come their way.

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